Succession’s Sarah Snook on the Premiere Twist and Filming a Pivotal Scene: “For me, I was terrified”

Warning! This article includes spoilers for the second season premiere of HBO’s Succession.

In a surprise to viewers, in the second season premiere of HBO’s Succession, the Jesse Armstrong-created series about a family that owns a media empire, the character played by actress Sarah Snook, political consultant Siobhan “Shiv” Roy, impresses her father Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and he subsequently chooses her to be the heir of his media empire, Waystar Royco.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Snook talks about whether or not she knew that this major change will happen for her character and how that scene between her and Cox played out.

Snook reveals that she originally thought that her character would inherit the business, but later was convinced otherwise. She said, “Originally, I [thought that might happen]when I got the role back in 2016, when we were shooting the pilot, but in conversations with Jesse, he quite explicitly said that Shiv doesn’t want to be in the business, doesn’t want to take over, that’s not something she’s looking for. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s completely not what I thought, but OK, you’re the writer, you know what’s up, so I guess I’ll not be invested in that idea.’ And so then when I came back for season two and that idea came crashing down, I was like ‘Wow. That’s pretty cool.'”

Though Snook was eventually clued in on the decision by Cox’s character, she admits that filming such a pivotal scene was still a significant challenge for her. She explains, “For me, I was terrified. It was an amazingly well-written scene and it’s quite a pivotal moment for my character and I obviously wanted to do it justice. I wanted to do the scene and [feared]the creatives, like Jesse and Mark [Mylod, the premiere’s director], would be like, ‘You know what, I don’t think she’s ready for this storyline, maybe we should rewrite; and take the whole thing in a different direction. So I spent a whole lot of time fretting and ended up putting that into learning the lines, and deciding what she wanted in terms of objectives. And then by the time we got to that day, I just forgot it all and just listened to Brian and focused on being in the scene and in that world.”

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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